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Webster 1913 Edition


Defence

De-fence′

(dē̍-fĕns′)
,
Noun.
&
Verb.
T.
See
Defense
.
{

De-fense′

,

De-fence′

}
,
Noun.
[F.
défense
, OF.
defense
, fem.,
defens
, masc., fr. L.
defensa
(cf. LL.
defensum
), from
defendere
. See
Defend
, and cf.
Fence
.]
1.
The act of defending, or the state of being defended; protection, as from violence or danger.
In cases of
defense
’t is best to weigh
The enemy more mighty than he seems.
Shakespeare
2.
That which defends or protects; anything employed to oppose attack, ward off violence or danger, or maintain security; a guard; a protection.
War would arise in
defense
of the right.
Tennyson.
God, the widow's champion and
defense
.
Shakespeare
3.
Protecting plea; vindication; justification.
Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my
defense
.
Acts xxii. 1.
4.
(Law)
The defendant's answer or plea; an opposing or denial of the truth or validity of the plaintiff's or prosecutor's case; the method of proceeding adopted by the defendant to protect himself against the plaintiff's action.
5.
Act or skill in making defense; defensive plan or policy; practice in self defense, as in fencing, boxing, etc.
A man of great
defense
.
Spenser.
By how much
defense
is better than no skill.
Shakespeare
6.
Prohibition; a prohibitory ordinance.
[Obs.]
Severe
defenses
. . . against wearing any linen under a certain breadth.
Sir W. Temple.

Definition 2021


defence

defence

English

Alternative forms

Noun

defence (plural defences) (British)

  1. The action of defending, of protecting from attack, danger or injury.
    • Shakespeare
      In cases of defence 'tis best to weigh / The enemy more mighty than he seems.
  2. Something used to oppose attack(s).
    • 1592—1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet XII:
      And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
      Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.
  3. An argument in support or justification of something.
    • 2016 June 11, Phil McNulty, “England 1-1 Russia”, in BBC Sport:
      In Hodgson's defence, it must be stated that in large parts this was a vibrant, energetic performance with the emphasis almost exclusively on attack.
    • 1592—1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet LXXXIX:
      Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt,
      Against thy reasons making no defence.
  4. (team sports) A strategy and tactics employed to prevent the other team from scoring; contrasted with offence.
  5. (team sports) The portion of a team dedicated to preventing the other team from scoring; contrasted with offence.
  6. Government policy or (infra)structure related to the military.
    Department of Defence
  7. (obsolete) Prohibition; a prohibitory ordinance.
    • Sir W. Temple
      Severe defences [] against wearing any linen under a certain breadth.

Synonyms

  • See Wikisaurus:defence

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

defence (third-person singular simple present defences, present participle defencing, simple past and past participle defenced)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To furnish with defences; to fortify.
    • Hales:
      Better manned and more strongly defenced.